Imphal, Feb 1: Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat remarks on AFSPA has fuel anger to sections of people who are committed to protection of human rights in the country. The remarked also received political criticisms from a rebel group operating in the region.
Joint body of major rebel group operating in WESEA region CorCom hit tough words to the statement of the Army chief saying it as another revelation of the intention of the arm forces to directly endorse in the rampant violation of human rights in WESEA region including Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir.
Recently media report had stated that the central government is looking a way out for review of the AFSPA. But the Army chief’s statement was a direct reply of the army’s stand to the media report.
A statement issued by CorCom media coordinator Ksh Yoiheiba yesterday said that the draconian Act (AFSPA) licences Indian military forces to kill people at their fancy and whims in the alleged occupied territories, General Rawat’s statement implied that the Indian military forces have no morale and are afraid to face the revolutionary groups of these regions without AFSPA.
It said how the people of Manipur has been suppressed by the army since its merger to the Indian Union.
“Under the shadow of AFSPA, which contradicts international laws, Indian military forces have been committing genocide as well as isolated killings for the past many years”, the statement said.
The statement also highlighted on the recommendation of the United Nations Human Rights Committee to the Government of India time and again to repeal AFSPA. It also reminded the UN Commissioner for Human Rights N Pillay and Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns proposals for immediate repeal of the same Act as it amount to violation of Human Rights.
“Even Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee constituted by the Government of India after the murder of Manorama recommended that AFSPA should be repealed but the Government of India flung aside the same recommendation because its military was not in favour of repealing the infamous Act”, the statement added.
After six cases out of 1528 alleged fake encounter cases have been confirmed as genuine fake encounters by Santosh Hegde Commission and the Supreme Court has been preparing to begin trial of these cases.
It is at this juncture that General Rawat came out with a statement in support of AFSPA.
Such statement only exposes the Government of India’s perception of WESEA and Jammu & Kashmir.
Saying that CorCom condemns General Bipin Rawat’s statement in the strongest term, it appealed to all the people to analyse how the Government of India has been determining the value of human lives in WESEA.
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. A avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.